Higher Education, Ed.D.

The Higher Education Specialization prepares students for leadership in colleges and universities and provides a broad overview of the institutions, policies, practices, personnel, programs, and services of institutions of higher education. Students will acquire a professional knowledge and understanding of colleges and universities as social and cultural institutions.

Higher Education - specialty image, President Martha Saunders, students on campus

Program Description

This specialization is currently NOT accepting applications.

The specialization in Higher Education will prepare students for leadership in colleges and universities. Graduates of the program in higher education will master a body of knowledge related to the field of higher education. The program will provide a broad overview of the institutions, policies, practices, personnel, programs, and services of institutions of higher education. Students who earn the degree in higher education will contribute to higher education practice and research regionally, nationally, and globally. Students will acquire a professional knowledge and understanding of colleges and universities as social and cultural institutions. Students will take 27 semester hours from the core courses, 18 semester hours of specialization, and 18 semester hours of dissertation.

Professional Core

The 27 semester hours in the professional core required for an Ed.D. in Higher Education will provide you the foundational knowledge for managing the education and training of present and future workforce personnel. Included in the professional core is a course in statistics, a critical skill for data-based decision making. You will also study the psychological and philosophical foundations of education, examine critical issues in education, explore issues surrounding the integration of technology in education, and learn how to conduct educational research.


The final step in achieving your doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a Higher Education specialization involves planning, conducting, and documenting a research study focused on an issue related to your specialization. The dissertation process is a major effort involving 18 semester hours, during which time you will work independently under the guidance of your dissertation committee.

Department Contact

Dr. Mark Malisa
Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Research and Administration

Catalog Description
Department's Website

Specialization Student Learning Outcomes

Specialization SLOs must address each of the following five domains:


Design and evaluate curriculum and instructional practices and theories for use in real-world situations.

Evaluate the knowledge base related to higher education theory and practice in application and research.

Apply content and practices central to the areas of higher education in real-world situations.

Synthesize the knowledge base to develop a theoretical and conceptual framework for higher education.

Critical Thinking

Evaluate educational, organizational, or public policy in real-world situations.

Create curriculum and instruction frameworks or protocols for real-world situations.


Communicate research findings in oral and written form.

Use technology to communicate with public, peers, students, researchers, and supervisors.

Present research and application findings.


Engage in behavior that illustrates compliance with professional ethics.

Design and conduct research that is based upon a theoretical and philosophical framework.

Project Management

Conduct applied research projects that reflect real-world needs.

Develop strategies to manage educational and organizational change.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirementsdescribed in the Graduate Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the criteria listed below are used to assess the potential success of each applicant.

University Requirements*
• Submission of Graduate Application and Processing Fee 
• Submission of official transcripts 
*International students may have additional requirements.

Departmental Requirements
• Submission of official test scores - GRE, MAT or GMAT* 
• Master's GPA (A master’s GPA below 3.5 requires competitive GRE, GMAT, or MAT scores)
• Submission of a resume 
• Submission of three professional reference forms where at least two references are able to speak to your academic work, writing skills and sustainability for rigorous doctoral academic work. (Professional Reference Form)
• Overall fit with the program 
• Submission of letter of intent responding to the following questions/prompts:

a. What personal and professional goals do you hope to meet through earning a doctorate, and why do you think the UWF Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction is a good fit for your goals?

b. What special knowledge, skills, and experiences would you bring to the chosen specialization and how are these aligned with the mission of the doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction as a whole? If you have had experiences that may have affected your academic performance, please provide explanatory context.

c. Be careful to clearly articulate how your skill set and experiences align with goals of the selected specialization, and show how these will impact your career trajectory.

Note: Your responses to the three questions should not be less than six double spaced pages, 12 fonts size Times New Roman.

* Review your eligibility for an admission test score waiver.

Application Deadlines

  • calendardates_Fall
  • calendardates_Spring
  • calendardates_Summer

Certain graduate programs have earlier application deadlines. Check with the graduate department for departmental specific deadlines.

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